Çanakkale to welcome 45 more cruise ships
The western province of Çanakkale is expected to welcome 45 more cruise ships until the end of the season this year.
As cruise trips to the province were halted because of the COVID-19 pandemic, no liners arrived at the port in Çanakkale for two years.
After the coronavirus-related travel restrictions were relaxed, six cruise ships with nearly 2,000 passengers on board visited the province since the start of the year.
Çanakkale, which is located on the Aegean coast, is an important destination, both for local and international tourists.
“Some 45 more cruise ships are expected to visit our port until the end of the season, bringing 15,000 tourists,” said Berkan Özkan, the general manager of the Port of Çanakkale.
In 2015, which marked the 100the anniversary of the Battle of Çanakkale and the Anzac Day, 21,227 passengers on cruise ships visited the province, Özkan said, noting that this was the highest figure ever recorded.
He, however, noted that because of the pandemic, no cruise ships arrived at the port.
Until the end of the season, 45 more liners, with a total capacity of 29,000 passengers, are expected to visit the port, Özkan said, adding that since cruise ships operate at 50 percent capacity, those ships will bring around 14,000 to 15,000 travelers.
Each passenger on cruise ships spends $60 to $80 on average when they visit Çanakkale, and the port charges 8 euros per passenger, Özkan said, voicing hope that more cruise ships might visit the province next year as the pandemic situation improves further.
He added that Turkey has a huge potential for cruise tourism, with some 1.5 million people expected to visit the country via cruise ships.
“Turkey’s share in cruise tourism in the Mediterranean is around 3 percent, but the cruise traffic to the country will gradually gain momentum because Turkey has a lot to offer to visitors,” Özkan said.
Çanakkale is located between the popular tourist hotspot Kuşadası and İstanbul, which makes the province an important destination for cruise ships, said Evren Beceren, the commercial director of the Port of Çanakkale.
Visitors can easily travel from the port to the ancient sites of Troy and Assos, as well as the Gallipoli Peninsula, Beceren added.